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The Breeze Dozen: Cape Trailblazers — Therese Everly

By Staff | Dec 6, 2019

Therese Everly

Each week the Cape Coral Breeze will feature a leader within the business community — public sector, private sector, or non-profit — asking a dozen questions that focus on the person and the business in which they hold a leadership role.


Name: Therese Everly

Position: Lee Health Board of Directors – District 1

Company or organization: Lee Memorial Health System – Lee?Health

Industry: Healthcare

Contact information: Therese.Everly@leehealth.org

Address: P.O. Box 2218, Fort Myers, FL 33902

Your business at a glance:

What you do: Establish policy, set an annual budget, goals and objectives through strategic planning, monitor the work of administration to ensure goals and objectives as achieved. Hire a CEO.

Unique niche: Strategic thinking, the ability to see the “Big Picture” and facilitate the necessary connections to create impact.

Bragging rights: Lee Health is the largest public “Safety Net”?health system in the country with no taxing authority. We continue to strive to meet our mission without a local tax. I could not be more proud of the work Lee Health has undertaken in the behavioral, mental health space, new programing for pediatrics, veterans and more great projects coming online.

Increasing access to care with the expansion of the Lee Community?Health Clinics, which provide services to underserved populations.

The Lee Health board and administration have been actively engaged with the state and community stakeholders in surveillance, public education and medical education on the health risks associated with our current water crisis. It continues to be a legislative priority for us.

Where you see your business in five years: The health care industry is undergoing rapid change; Lee Health has a laser focus on improving quality care outcomes, efficient operational/financial performance and implementing innovative solutions in a challenging fiscal environment of decreasing reimbursements. Lee Health, along with all “Public Safety Net” health systems across the nation, face unique challenges, as many of the social determinants of health drive greater demand for health care services with very limited funding sources to provide prevention and overall well being. I envision in 5 years there will be shifts in care from the traditional clinic setting to the virtual setting of home setting where care can be delivered to you through technology. The opportunities for advancement in this space are vast.

About you:

Describe yourself in one word: Passionate.

Hero, role model or mentor: Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Person you’d most like to meet: Abraham Lincoln.

Book that changed your life: It is difficult for me to choose any one book that changed my life. I take something from each book I read, in regards to leadership books about past U.S. Presidents Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. “To Err is Human” provided a great foundation in forming my views on health care policy.

Best business advice you’ve ever received: Know your “True North,”?your internal compass, it is the bedrock of your decision making.

Biggest risk you ever taken: My greatest personal risk was running for elected office.

Personal passion: All things in nature and embracing the opportunity to explore and take in the beauty.

Guilty pleasure: Chocolate.